Is Nikole Hannah-Jones Right?
Nikole Hannah-Jones, 45, retweeted a post Sunday claiming the “supremacy around the media coverage of [the war] isn’t even subtle” while sharing a clip of an Al Jazeera report citing the “prosperous middle class” in Ukraine who were desperately trying to board a train to escape the war-ravaged country.
“What if I told you Europe is not a continent by definition, but a geopolitical fiction to separate it from Asia and so the alarm about a European, or civilized, or First World nation being invaded is a dog whistle to tell us we should care because they are like us,” Hannah-Jones tweeted Sunday to her 671,000 followers.
This is from Joshua Rhett Miller, “NYT’s Nikole Hannah-Jones blasts ‘racialized’ coverage of Ukraine war,” New York Post, February 28, 2022.
When I read this at the time, I, like many of my friends on Facebook, pooh-poohed the idea.
Then I started thinking about the Saudis and Yemen. Read this:
The armed conflict in Yemen has killed and injured thousands of Yemeni civilians since it began. As of November 2018, 6,872 civilians had been killed and 10,768 wounded, the majority by Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). The actual civilian casualties are likely much higher. Thousands more have been displaced by the fighting and millions suffer from shortages of food and medical care.
I’m pretty sure that that number is much higher than the number of Ukrainian civilians killed by the Russian military in the war that started last month. A March 4 news story in the Washington Post last week put it at 227.
Yet we in the west have never seen the outpouring of support for Yemen and outpouring of criticism of Saudi Arabia that we see for and against Ukraine and Russia, respectively.
Why is that? I think it’s because many of us feel a stronger connection to people in Europe than in Asia.
So, to answer the question in this title, Yes, I think Nikole Hannah-Jones is on to something.
HT2 Phil Magness.